Speaking at a military parade marking the former Soviet Union’s Second World War victory over the Nazis, Mr Putin drew parallels between the Red Army’s fighting against Nazi troops and the Russian forces’ action in Ukraine.
He said that the campaign in Ukraine was a timely and necessary move to ward off potential aggression and that the West was preparing for “invasion of our land” saying troops in the eastern Ukrainian Donbas region were “fighting for the motherland, its future.”
The Kremlin leader branded Nato “an obvious threat” to Russia and said his “special military operation” had been necessary and the “right decision”.
Leader: There must be a new Victory in Europe
Putin also said the state would do “everything” to take care of families suffering bereavements caused by the Ukraine war saying “The death of every soldier and officer is painful for us.”
The nation observed a minute of silence to honor those who had failed in combat.
Putin finished his speech to cheers from soldiers in Red Square, cannon fire and the Russian national anthem.
The comments from Putin come as Russian forces push forward in their assault on Ukraine, seeking to capture the crucial southern port city of Mariupol as Moscow prepared to celebrate its national Victory Day holiday.
Russian troops have targeted a seaside steel mill where an estimated 2,000 Ukrainian fighters were making what appeared to be their last stand to save Mariupol from falling.
The mill is the only part of the city not overtaken by the invaders, and its defeat would deprive Ukraine of a vital port and allow Russia to establish a land corridor to the Crimean Peninsula, which it seized from Ukraine in 2014.
Ukrainian fighters in the steel mill have rejected deadlines set by the Russians for laying down their arms even as attacks continued by warplanes, artillery and tanks.
The UK’s Ministry of Defense (MoD) has said that the Russian stockpile of munitions has been heavily depleted and that Russia may struggle to replace modern weaponry.
In an intelligence update they said: “At the onset of its invasion of Ukraine, Russia publicly promoted its ability to conduct surgical strikes and limit collateral damage. It stated that Ukrainian cities would therefore be safe from bombardment.
“However, as the conflict continues beyond Russian pre-war expectations, Russia’s stockpile of precision-guided munitions has likely been heavily depleted.
“This has forced the use of readily available but aging munitions that are less reliable, less accurate and more easily intercepted. Russia will likely struggle to replace the precision weaponry it has already expended.
“Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has revealed shortcomings in its ability to conduct precision strikes at scale. Russia has subjected Ukraine’s towns and cities to intense and indiscriminate bombardments with little or no regard for civilian casualties.”
Ahead of Victory Day, Western leaders showed new signs of support for Ukraine.
The Group of Seven industrial democracies pledged to ban or phase out imports of Russian oil.
The US also announced new sanctions against Russia, cutting off Western advertising from Russia’s three biggest TV stations, banning US accounting and consulting firms from providing services, and cutting off Russia’s industrial sector from wood products, industrial engines, boilers and bulldozers.
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.